Small things tend to cover big ones sometimes. After looking a user requirement about a bad OS detection on the plugin, it drew our attention that original StatPress plugins uses a bunch of files (.dat definition tables) to keep track data from operative systems, browsers, search engines, spiders. And since StatComm heritage is from the same breed, this plugin has the same solutions…and also the same problems.
.dat files can be easily patched, but…like a spanish phrase we remember:’pan para hoy, hambre para mañana’ (bread today, hunger for tomorrow) patching is not enough. It Is ok that older releases have a way to detect all those characteristics from incoming visitors. But a major problem remained: who is keeping those files updated? While OS,browsers, search engines and spiders keep improving, is clear that storing information in .dat files without care is a hardcoded approach which provides in many cases incorrect information, and getting worst along the time.
The natural question is: is there a better way? Is there a way to keep a reliable, accurate information and staying updated?
Hold that thought for a second.
StatComm 1.6.3: beyond .dat files
in-development released 1.6.3 version is bringing an answer. This version has one single goal: make StatComm as accurate as possible and at the same time, provide a way to automatically keep updated.
To make it possible, this version relies in a API provided by User Agent String Info site.
With this API, StatComm got this improvements:
- An accurate way to identify any incoming visitor on your site.
- An always up-to-date information about browsers,operative systems,spiders and search engines.
This is a major breakthrough between any outdated Statpress version, and also with StatComm 1.6.2.
How does it work?
We added a new class which take care of downloading the user agent information from UAS site directly to your website (currently set to daily update). This information is combined with StatComm logged info to make a much improved report.
Most accuracy needs also a improved way to show data
We definitely were tempted to get our hands into the code and start improving the graphical interface of StatComm.
But ,we also know this task is a bigger major step on the current roadmap (planned to for the version 1.8.x and ahead).
To keep delivering the best code we can make, we are focusing in stabilizing the code and so we are.
Nonetheless, we made big improvements since 1.6.2 worth making an overview:
- Improved: icons for OS, browsers, Search Engines and spiders.
Those icons were provided also for UAS and provides a nice way to see the traffic. Also, an important recode were made on the overview tables to ensure reliable data.
- Improved: long url can be seen hovering the url
That was an improved step we would really want to make! Older versions of Statcomm shortened the links adding an ellipsys to the end (…), but also loosing the complete url to the user. Not anymore. All the information is linked to respective places and hovering over the links and text provides additional information. Moreover, more info can be retrieved hovering some cases, see the image on Feedfetcher-Google where you can see the suscriber number and also the feed id: you can trace back information in new ways.
- Improved: making links clickable everywhere
We tried in some extent to make more information available in the overview providing link to anything considered valuable.
As you can see, is a work in progress.
- Improved: link takes you to the page
- Improved: link to OS wikipedia
- Improved: link to user agent details
- Improved: column browser version added
We expect to deliver StatComm 1.6.3 within 2-3 days from now, after cleaning last part of the code and re-testing.